New Biobased Polymers to Arrive on Market in 2019 

IDTechEx looks at the key manufacturers of biobased polymers and production methods and capacities in its latest report

IDTechEx looks at the key manufacturers of biobased polymers and production methods and capacities in its latest report

LyondellBasell production team in Wesseling, Germany shows off first batch of bio-polymer made from renewable materials. Image courtesy of LyondellBasell PR.

IDTechEx looks at the key manufacturers of biobased polymers and production methods and capacities in its report, “Biobased Polymers 2018-2023: A Technology and Market Perspective.”

LyondellBasell, a large plastics, chemicals and refining companies globally, in partnership with Finland-based energy company Neste jointly announced a parallel production of biobased polypropylene and biobased low density polyethylene at commercial scale.

This venture leverages Neste’s experience in renewable hydrocarbons derived from sustainable biobased raw materials, as well as LyondellBasell’s technical capabilities in large-scale chemical production. The polymer itself is marketed under the brand name Circulen, and has been added to LyondellBasell’s circular economy product line. An independent third party tested the polymer products using carbon tracers and confirmed they contained over 30% renewable content.

“LyondellBasell has an innovative spirit that spans decades, and an achievement like this showcases concrete actions we are taking in support of a circular economy,” says Richard Roudeix, LyondellBasell senior vice president of Olefins and Polyolefins for Europe, Asia and International. “Through the use of renewable resources, we are contributing to the fight against climate change and helping our customers achieve their environmental targets.”

“We are excited to enable the plastics industry to introduce more bio-based material into its offering. It is very satisfying to see Neste's renewable hydrocarbons performing perfectly in a commercial scale production of bio-based polymers, providing a drop-in replacement option to fossil materials,” says Neste's president and CEO Peter Vanacker. “This pioneering collaboration with LyondellBasell marks a major milestone in the commercialization of Neste's renewable polymers and chemicals business focusing on developing renewable and circular solutions for forward-looking sustainable brands.”

In Q3 2018, Neste partnered with Ikea to pilot commercial-scale production of biobased polypropylene to help Ikea realise its goal of fully substituting the plastics used in its products with recycled or renewable materials by 2030.

With the industrial production of biobased polypropylene, IDTechEx projects that the market size for biobased polymers will be 2.7 Mt by 2023. Biobased polyolefins look set to benefit from a compound annual growth rate three to four times as large as their petrochemical equivalents, as consumers become more aware of the benefits of using biobased alternatives.

Learn more about biobased polymers with IDTechEx's report “Biobased Polymers 2018-2023: A Technology and Market Perspective.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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